With their angled corners, rectangle pot racks offer the largest surface and hanging areas among the most popular shapes of racks available on the market today. Incredibly popular, rectangular racks are available in a large number of looks and styles to suit your home kitchen.
If the wide variety of models available from today’s top designers has you feeling slightly overwhelmed about finding the best model for your home, you'll love our Buyers' Guide to Models. The guide will take you through all of the decisions that you'll need to make to find the perfect style for your home. Read it over from beginning to end and then bookmark it so that you can quickly navigate back if you have questions while you shop.Style
Rectangle pot racks come in two primary styles: wall and hanging. The first decision you'll need to make before you shop is which style will work the best within your kitchen. Each style has its own pros and cons to consider when making your choice.Wall Style Pros
Wall Style Cons
- Work well in kitchens with decorative bulkheads and ceilings
- Can be easily installed by yourself in most homes
- Often ideal for people who are constantly on the move in their kitchens
- Perfect for smaller kitchens where the layout would require a hanging rack to be placed above a stove or other cooking surface
- Generally does not interfere with lighting or cast shadows upon work areas
Hanging Style Pros
- Require open wall space, which may not be readily available in some homes
- May need to be installed in an out-of-the-way spot
Hanging Style Cons
- Do not take up wall space
- Can be easily installed by homeowners in homes with drywall ceilings
- Usually easy to locate centrally, so that you can simply reach up and retrieve your pots and pans
- Ideal for people who prefer to work in one spot during most of their food preparation tasks as well as those who like to move around
Measuring for a Wall Style
- Can distract the eye from decorative bulkheads and ceilings
- Require professional installation or advice in homes with masonry or plaster ceilings.
- If placed above a cooking surface, can expose pots and pans to heat and splatters from food preparation
- Can create a shadow on the working surface underneath the rack, making it difficult to see properly while working
If you determine that a wall style rack is best for your needs, the next step in your decision-making will be determining the best size for the space available in your home. For secure installation, you'll first need to find the studs within your walls using a tool called a stud finder, which is readily available at most hardware and home improvement stores. Then, visit our Buyers' Guide to Wall Styles
for detailed instructions on how to measure your space.Features of Wall Styles
Some rectangle wall racks have special features that enhance their utility. In some styles, the rectangular frame that extends from the wall is either solid or features a grated center, so that you can use the rack as a shelf as well as for hanging pots and pans from the hooks. A small number of rectangle wall styles feature a two-tier design with one shelf above the other to maximize the amount of storage space.Measuring for Hanging Styles
In homes where a hanging rack is ideal, you'll need to measure your space before you shop to ensure that the one you choose will make it easy for you to reach your pots and pans whenever necessary. Instead of locating wall studs, you'll have to locate the ceiling joists prior to measuring for your rack. Visit our Buyers' Guide to Hanging Styles
for detailed instructions on how to measure your space.Features of Hanging Styles
Like wall styles, hanging racks are available with special features that may be appealing in your home. Some styles combine more than one feature, giving you a number of benefits in one rack.
Adding a grate to a hanging rack allows you to use hooks not just along the frame of the piece, but also in the middle to greatly expand the amount of storage space available. Some rectangle pot racks come with grates built right into their frames, while others come with removable grates. Many styles only consist of frames, but have grates available for purchase separately.
Some models with grates have open styles that will also allow you to use the rack like a shelf by placing items on top of the grate. You can use this space to store additional cookware or to display decorative items and enhance the look of your kitchen. If you do intend to use the top as a shelf for storing things that you will need to reach for frequently, you may want to consider purchasing a longer chain to make it easy to grab things from the top.
In some rack styles, the sides of the frame feature panels that form a ledge around their tops. If you add a grate or use the built-in grate to make the rack a shelf, this ledge will partially cover your stored items, making the area appear neater. Keep in mind, though, that you will need to reach over the ledge to access your stored items. If you store anything so small that it sits completely below the edge, you may not be able to easily retrieve it.
A final feature found in some hanging racks is lighting. With lights, your rack can illuminate your work area to eliminate shadows and make it easier for you to see. Lighted racks do require extra work when it comes time for installation, as you'll need to connect your rack to your electrical wiring in order to power the lights. If you do not have lights in your ceiling currently, you may need to consult an electrician for assistance prior to installation. Finish
The last item to take into consideration when selecting the perfect model for your home is its finish. The finish is the term used to describe the look of the piece. In some cases, the finish is also the material from which the rack is made from, while in others, the primary material is steel or another metal coated with a thin layer of a different type of metal. Styles that feature this thin coating have what is called an electroplated finish.
There are eight primary finishes available in today's styles:
- Stainless steel has a silver metallic look and is treated to resist tarnishing. When exposed to heavy use, a stainless steel rectangular rack may rust. If this occurs, you can remove the discoloration with a rust remover.
- Hammered steel is treated with chemicals and pounded to give it a rich black look that is called a patina. The frame is then coated with a protective covering to preserve the patina and keep its look lasting from year to year. Typically, this coating keeps the rack from rusting. Hammered steel finishes also will not tarnish.
- Chrome is another popular finish and is generally electroplated atop another metal. Chrome has a silver color like stainless steel and a smooth, shiny appearance. Generally, chrome finished models are resistant to rusting and tarnishing.
- Wood pot racks are a striking alternative to metal designs. Typically, these pieces feature wood frames with metal grates, giving them a unique appearance. Maple is the most popular wood used for racks though the wood may be stained to resemble other wood types like cherry or walnut.
- Copper rectangular racks feature a reddish-brown metallic color. Copper racks may either be made from solid copper or feature copper electroplating. An electroplated style is typically resistant to tarnishing, while solid copper models are prone to tarnishing. If you develop a tarnish on your rack, it can be wiped away with a copper cleaner.
- Brass rectangular racks have a gleaming gold color that complements gold hardware on cabinets and looks great with a variety of decors. Like copper, brass racks may be solid or feature electroplating, which is resistant to tarnishing. A solid brass rack may tarnish, and if it does, you can use a brass or jewelry cleaner to wipe away the discoloration.
- Painted rectangular racks feature steel or a similar metal covered with paint. Black and white are both popular paint colors, and some manufacturers offer additional paint colors to complement the palettes used in today's homes. A painted rack should not tarnish, but it may rust with heavy use. If this happens, remove the rust by vigorously scrubbing with soap and water. Never use a cleaner on a painted rack as you might damage the finish.
- Wrought iron rectangular pot racks are similar to hammered steel in that they have a dark patina. Typically, this color is an even deeper shade of black than hammered steel. Usually treated with a protective coating to protect the patina, wrought iron generally does not tarnish or rust.